diberry - 2:40 pm on Aug 31, 2013 (gmt 0)
Could there is a darker undertone here in controlling links in this way that will make other search engines less effective?
Hmm, I never thought of it that way. If they use links heavily in their algos, the Google link FUD is indeed going to make a mess of that for them.
On the other hand, if this is the link for your users, you genuinly want to give them more info, then there should be no need to nofollow such link.
Actually, no. They're saying you should disclose TO GOOGLE that it's a paid link. That doesn't benefit visitors at all. The FTC, who actually is concerned about your visitors, requires that you disclose TO VISITORS when a link is paid or affiliate or swapped for free goods. THAT would be building for visitors.
No matter what merits or harmlessness one may see in nofollow, it IS a case of adding code to your site for Google, not for visitors.
If I were Google, I would work with the FTC - they've got a buddy high up in it after all - to create some look or behavior to assign to paid/traded/aff links. This look/behavior would be apparent to both visitors and search engines, so that visitors would actually benefit from knowing it's a paid link and the engines could do as they wish with that info. (Don't freak out: studies have shown that if visitors value your site, they actually choose to click your affiliate link so you'll make money and keep your site going. The trick is, they need to believe you would never link to crap for any reason, paid or otherwise.)